“Good Morning Bernalwood”

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“Good Morning Bernalwood.”

That’s the message we got earlier today –  along with this image  — courtesy of Christopher Baker, Bernal’s photographically inclined fanboy in Noe Valley. Thanks Christopher!

Oh, and it really was a beautiful sunrise. Did anyone else notice how the color of the color of the light matched the hue of the plum blossoms that are popping right about now? Just for one magnificently ephemeral moment? Wonderful.

Separately, your Bernalwood editor has been arguing recently that winter is the finest season to be in San Francisco – and not just because the skiing on Bernal Hill tends to be excellent. Winter here means no fog, green grass, fragrant air, warm days, occasional hygge-inducing rainstorms, Rainbow Alerts, and so many other unique seasonal charms. Would you agree? Please discuss.

PHOTO: Bernal Hill on February 15, 2017, by Christopher Baker

Sunday: Celebrate 2017 by Helping to Make Bernal Hill More Beautiful

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Here’s an honest way to atone for all the unholy things you will do on New Year’s Eve: Neighbor Sarah invites all Bernalese of all ages  to participate in a Bernal Hill clean-up happening on New Year’s Day,  Sunday, January 1, 2017(!) at 9 am.

The fabulous Neighbor Sarah says:

Start 2017 off by joining your neighbors in cleaning up Bernal Hill on New Year’s Day. (The Hill often takes a bit of a beating on New Year’s Eve.) Meet at the south entrance bulletin board at 9 am. Bring gloves and a couple of garbage bags or a bucket. We’ll divide and conquer, picking up bottles, cigarette butts, and, yes, unclaimed dog poop. This should be a good activity for kids – I will be bringing mine (ages 7 and 9).

See you there! (And thanks to the neighbors who, day in and day out, pick up trash on the Hill – we see them frequently!)

PHOTO: Bernal Hill from the air, courtesy of the Bernalwood Air Force

Supervisors Approve Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill

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Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors approved a plan to establish a permanent memorial for Alex Nieto, the Bernal neighbor who was killed in a controversial confrontation with the San Francisco police in March 2014.

The San Francisco Examiner reports:

The Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 on Tuesday to adopt legislation directing the Recreation and Park Department to install a memorial for Alex Nieto, who was shot and killed by San Francisco police in Bernal Heights Park on March 21, 2014.

A civil federal grand jury exonerated the four officers who shot Nieto after police said he pointed a Taser at them when responding to a call about a man with a gun.

The memorial, which would be designed through community input, would require approval by the Arts Commission.

Supervisor John Avalos, who introduced the legislation, said, “If we acknowledge these incidents have happened, it brings us closer.”

Avalos said the memorial is also about a “sense of healing.” At the site of Nieto’s killing, there is currently an altar that is often visited by Nieto’s parents, who attended Tuesday’s meeting.

Bernalwood Readers Report on Monday’s Alex Nieto Memorial Meeting

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What happened during Monday night’s community meeting about the proposed City ordinance to install a memorial for Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill? Several Bernalwood readers attended the meeting, and shared their perspectives on what happened.

rikitiki49 felt the meeting wasn’t really about soliciting input from the Bernal community about a memorial:

Just left this meeting disappointed that the first 1 1/2 hours was not about establishing a memorial for Alex Nieto, but a memorial come-together meeting. It was very touching and sad to to hear from the Nieto family and indeed other families of recently shot citizens who were introduced by Campos.

Campos and Avalos (with a brief but sympathetic cameo by Hillary Ronen who left shortly after 7) spoke at length . Then the father of Alex spoke o Alex’ life and then warmly about once sitting on that bench with his son overlooking the city. Then, a woman from the arts commission distributed paper info with photos re plaques, sculptures and other forms of remembrance. She noted that given the story she heard from the father perhaps a special bench might be what the community wanted…(I thought this was so appropriate and hoped the crowd would agree but this was not to be that kind of meeting.)

There was then another round of much shouting “Amor, Amor” for Alex and posturing by one man in particular. I left about 7:20 hearing no constructive talk about a memorial other than Campos/Avalos saying there would be a community process, two supervisor meetings, and a guiding committee you could sign up for. The vast majority of people in the room appeared to either express love for Alex or anger for the incident.

Craig says he’s still unclear on why a memorial for Alex Nieto is being proposed:

I attended the meeting together with about 40 others. The people attending were all supporters of Alex Neito and friends/families of the other 2 victims of police killings this past year. The family of Alex Neito spoke in Spanish and was translated to English. Alex apparently grew up in Bernal and attending local public schools. He later attended a [junior college] and studied criminology. He did a lot of volunteer work with children. I attended to learn more about his contribution to Bernal and to understand the reasons to establish a public memorial on the hill. Campos, Avelos and Hillary Ronen attended. Each spoke and their comments were unremarkable.

An artist from the city art commission spoke about the type of memorial that might be considered. She had a portfolio of brass plates, benches and bronze bust. She mentioned that a bronze bust of Newsom cost about $120,000 that some of his wealthy patrons contributed to have it made. She did mention the public must pay the cost of this type of project. However, Campos chimed in to announce that he inserted language in the ordinance to possibly include city money to purchase the memorial. He received a round of applause.

I left the meeting after 45 minutes and still cannot understand why two public officials – Campos, Avelos and Supervisor-elect Ronen would endorse a public memorial for Alex Neito. Hearing scheduled Dec 5th at 1pm. If approved by this committee, it will go to the full Board for a hearing.

But mimiklausner had no trouble understanding why a memorial might be appropriate:

I went to the meeting. It was an overflow crowd. Once the resolution is passed, it is up the the Nieto family with input from the community to decide what form the memorial will take. Someone from the Arts Commission made a presentation about the process, gave ideas about plaques, benches and statues. Right now there is no City money available for the memorial. Some in the audience wanted to approach the City to fund it; others thought it should be funded by the community. Beth Stephens who teaches at UC Santa Cruz offered to fabricate the plaque at the USC bronze foundry. Other people offered to write grants.

Rufugio Nieto talked about his son and said that at one point he dragged Rufugio up to the hill at 3 am and they sat together on a bench and Alex said he loved seeing the City asleep and that he felt so safe there, safer there than anywhere else.

 

 

Good Morning Bernal Heights!

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If (heaven forbid) you happened to live in Noe Valley, and if (just if) you happened to be up at sunrise this morning, and if (lucky you) you happened to have a rockstar view of Bernal Hill, then this is what you might have seen this morning as you looked out your window.

Christopher Baker is a Friend of Bernalwood who happens to meet all of these criteria, with the added bonus that he’s also a wonderful photographer. So here you go: Bernal Hill, at sunrise this morning, as seen from Noe and 28th.  Thank you Christopher!

Also: Damn we’re sexy.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Christopher Baker

The Bernal Hill Coyote Is a Female and Human “Kindness” Could Kill Her

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Janet Kessler, the San Francisco coyote whisperer who runs the  wonderful Coyote Yipps website, has been keeping an eye on the coyote that lives on Bernal Hill.

After some observation, Janet has noticed some disturbing signs that the coyote is in danger — and the problems stem from people who are putting her at risk with misguided “kindness.” Janet explains what this means in this special contribution to Bernalwood:

AN UPDATE ON THE BERNAL COYOTE

In case you haven’t heard, the Bernal Hill coyote is most definitely a “she!”

Almost all Bernal Hill visitors love her. How could anyone ask for a more congenial neighbor! She’s good natured, photogenic, good-willed and fun-loving. She knows how to entertain herself. I watched her play exuberantly with a stick several times within the span of an hour.

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Some people love the Bernal Coyote so much that they are literally throwing “kindness” at her. However, the “kindness” she’s being showered with is actually cruel. Unintentionally so, but nonetheless cruel: it’s hurting her tremendously.

Feedingthe Bernal Coyote is bad enough, but feeding her from cars is detrimental. As a result, she’s now out in the streets, approaching cars, stopping traffic, and even just hanging out there. Please remember: the last Bernal Hill coyote was killed by a car.

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A few days ago I witnessed her run repeatedly to a bluff overlooking the road whenever she heard a certain type of truck go by. A couple of people said that two months ago they witnessed someone in a white truck deposit food for her. I saw her run towards a coffee cup as it was tossed from a car window — she was expecting food.

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When cars stop on the road to observe her, she often hurries down the hill to the car. And I witnessed her chasing four separate cars, one after the other. Her motive would be the expectation of food. She would only expect food if she has been given it in the past. Witnesses have seen her being fed from car windows. By feeding her, people have “trained” or “food conditioned” her (rewarded her behavior with food) to come down into the streets. It will be much harder to break this behavior than it was to start it.

She has also been coming in towards walkers, again in the hopes for food. This scares some people. If she’s expecting food, she could start closing the gap and nudging people for what she wants. A spooked human may startle her and she may react with a self-protective nip. Although dogs are allowed their first bite free, this is not true of coyotes. If she bites a human, she’s dead. This is why, “a fed coyote is a dead coyote.”

Some folks are being overly “friendly” towards the coyote. Dogs with their owners sit and commune with her only 15 feet apart. This, also, is an unkind thing to do. It’s important not to be so friendly, not to engage physically or psychologically with her. Rather, be neutral if you can and always walk away from her. You are not respecting her wildness by engaging with her or by allowing your dog to interact/engage with her in any way.

On the bright side, this little female does not seem territorial: she does not defend her space against intruder dogs. The reason for this is that she’s a loner who does not claim a territory, she’s not a member of a family. Nonetheless, if and when she hooks up with a mate — coyotes mate for life — her mate will be territorial. Male coyotes can be very protective and jealous of dogs getting too close to their mates or pups. By respecting her wildness and giving her plenty of space, we can maintain a balance for coexistence which will work.

What to do now? First, DO NOT FEED THE COYOTE — EVER! Second, become an ambassador for the Bernal Coyote: If you see anyone giving her food, speak to them about what is needed for the well-being of the coyote. If the person resists, report them to the police; It’s actually against the law to feed wildlife.

The Bernal Coyote will the one who pays the price for humans’ misguided “deeds of kindness.” Please — please! — never feed her, be as neutral and uninterested towards her as possible, and always walk away from her, don’t engage her with your dog or talk to her. If she persists in coming closer to you, spook her away by picking up a small stone and heaving it towards her (not at her so as to actually hurt her, just towards her), and keep walking away. The Bernal Coyote’s behavior is not her fault; it’s our fault.

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PHOTOS: All photos by Janet Kessler of Coyote Yipps

Tonight: Community Meeting on Ordinance for Bernal Hill Memorial to Alex Nieto

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Back in September, Bernalwood reported that an effort was underway in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to require the City to install a memorial for Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill. Tonight, a community meeting will be held to discuss the ordinance introduced at the Board of Supervisors which would create the Alex Neto memorial.

This morning, Ailed Paningbatan-Swan from the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center tells Bernalwood that in one of their final acts before leaving the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor John Avalos and SupervisorDavid Campos  have introduced an ordinance to establish a permanent memorial for Alex Nieto. The measure would direct “the Recreation and Park Department to install in Bernal Heights Park a memorial in honor of Alex Nieto.”

The complete text of the ordinance can be found here.

Alex Nieto was the Bernal Heights neighbor who was killed during a March 2014 confrontation with the San Francisco Police. A San Francisco District Attorney investigation of the incident concluded that police acted lawfully during the incident, and during a subsequent wrongful death suit initated by the Nieto family, a jury ruled that the SFPD officers involved in the incident had not used excessive force. Friends and family of Alex Nieto maintain his death was a byproduct of gentrification.

In addition, Ailed also passes along word this morning that BHNC will host a community meeting TONIGHT at 6 pm to learn more about the proposal:

Join the Bernal Heights Community to discuss the Creation of an Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill.

Please join us for an informational meeting and community discussion to learn about efforts taking place to create a Bernal Hill memorial for Alex Nieto, a long-time Bernal Heights Resident and City College Student.

Date: Monday, November 28, 2016
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Location: Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center
515 Cortland Avenue, SF CA 94110
Dining Hall

For additional information, please contact Ailed Paningbatan Director of Community Engagement at BHNC 415-206-2140 x 130, or Carolyn Goossen, legislative aide to Supervisor David Campos, at 415-554-7729.

PHOTO: Top, ad hoc Alex Nieto memorial on Bernal Hill, September 14, 2016, by Telstar Logistics